The Hour Is Later than We Think

Europe’s looming catastrophe was already foreseen by former Algerian President Houari Boumediene, who gloated in a speech at the UN in 1974, “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.” Daniel Pipes regards as “outrageous” the claim of a Belgium-based imam to the effect that “soon we will take power in this country. Those who criticize us now, will regret it. They will have to serve us. Prepare, for the hour is near.” In light of current events, the prediction does not seem altogether farfetched.

None of this should surprise us. The courageous and prescient statesman Winston Churchill had the measure of Islam in his 1899 book The River War (“No stronger retrograde force exists in the world”). In his Reflections on History, the great historian Jacob Burckhardt alerted us to the danger of Koran-inspired jihad. Insightful novelists have read the writing on the wall, for example, G.K. Chesterton’s The Flying Inn, Jean Raspail’s aforementioned The Camp of the Saints, Michel Houellebecq’s Platform and Submission, and Christian scholar William Kilpatrick’s  recent and provocative Orwellian fable Insecurity. They knew (and know) what is at stake, not for Europe alone but for Western civilization in general, soon to be inundated by an Islamic tidal wave. Our best political thinkers, like Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Caroline Glick, Raymond Ibrahim, Geert Wilders, Bruce Bawer, Melanie Phillips, Mark Steyn, Douglas Murray, Mark Durie and others too numerous to mention, have warned us repeatedly that if we persist in ignoring the theo-political virus of canonical Islam, we may not recover from the affliction.

But one does not need to read the literature to stimulate awareness. Nothing prevents us from using our wits to observe and understand what is going on beneath our very noses. The savage Muslims launch terrorist attacks against Western interests and civilians while the clever Muslims insinuate themselves into the political and social infrastructures of the countries they have come to inhabit. One might assume that the latter may even object to the tactics of the former as actually impeding their subversive agenda by alienating their formerly complacent hosts. But both are equally barbarians at large, whether in ski masks and keffiyas or perfectly tailored Armani suits. In the long run the stealth jihadists are infinitely more effective. The Islamic politico-cultural incursion currently in place is working, owing not just to the wiliness and patience of the Muslim infiltrators but to the pathological extent of Western compliance.

There are no doubt many reasons for such complicity: politicians and academics have been bought off -- vendus, as the French say; far too many of us are constitutively feeble-minded or proudly ignorant; others adhere to the liberal sedative that all cultures are equally worthy (except, perhaps, for our own); still others naturally gravitate to the “strong horse”; and the intellectual “elite” is committed to the belief that we are morally compelled to expiate a colonial guilt, as if the flagrant and unremittingly vicious colonial history of Islam never existed. Moreover, the pervasive sense of spiritual emptiness which vitiates the communal life of the West demands to be filled. For a people, no less than nature, abhors a vacuum. If Freud was right in proposing that every individual seeks his own path to the grave, the same is surely true of civilizations. Every civilization seeks its own way to die, and Islam is the form in which we administer the coup de grâce to ourselves -- what James Burnham called, in his book of that title, the “suicide of the West.”

Reflecting on the Cold War engagement with Communism, Burnham believed that only a policy of anti-totalitarian pushback would lead to victory. It is no different for the conflict with Islam (not “militant” Islam, for Islam is militant by definition). A morally disarmed liberalism, Burnham concludes, is now “the typical verbal systematization of the process of Western contraction and withdrawal; that liberalism motivates and justifies that contraction, and reconciles us to it.” There are other factors at work, of course, contributing to the decline that Burnham identified and mourned: non-replacement birth rates, civil fractures involving race, the therapeutic hedonism of popular mores, the “culture wars” splitting nations into contending ideological camps and devastating a once-sound educational institution. But Islam completes the death of the Western mind, beheading intelligence from the body politic and dancing on the severed corpse.